Chen Xieyang, Music Director
Chen Xieyang, conductor
Tan Dun, conductor
Wendy Sutter, cello
Tang Junqiao, bamboo flute
One of the oldest orchestras in Asia, the history of the 100-member Shanghai Symphony Orchestra parallels the development of symphonic music in China. In the early 20th century, the SSO began building its reputation by introducing Western music into China, training Chinese musical talents, and performing the first Chinese orchestral work. Today, it attracts celebrity guest artists from around the world with a repertoire that ranges from orchestral and operatic masterpieces to modern works by Chinese composers.
At the Kennedy Center, the SSO performs a concert entitled China New Wave, featuring works by an influential new generation of Chinese composers.
Tan Dun--whose many accomplishments include both a Grammy(r) and Academy Award(r) for his score to the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon--joins the orchestra to conduct the Washington premiere of his multimedia masterpiece The Map, Concerto for Cello, Video, and Orchestra. Celebrating the musical essences of the remote Chinese countryside, Tan Dun's work explores the minority cultures of Hunan Province, where he was born. The Boston Herald has hailed The Map as "a work of profound beauty and spirit that taps into a kind of primal sound language," while the Los Angeles Times calls it "a brilliant, innovative concerto [that's] musically and visually mesmerizing from beginning to end.
The program also includes Chen Xieyang leading the orchestra in Bright Sheng's Postcards, a musical love letter from China that evokes its natural beauty, culture, and people, and Guo Wenjing's Bamboo Flute Concerto "Chou Kong Shan," inspired by Tang dynasty poet Li Bai's musings about a "sorrowful, desolate mountain."
Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company
Endangered Musical Cultures of China with Tan Dun
Internationally acclaimed composer/conductor Tan Dun, whose many accomplishments include an Academy Award(r) for his score to the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, leads this discussion/demonstration exploring the vanishing musical cultures of ethnic minorities in western Hunan.
Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m.
Smithsonian Freer Gallery, Meyer Auditorium
Free, reserved tickets required, contact Ticketmaster or the Freer Gallery at (202) 357-2700 for further information.